Regal Group International: Royal Dutch Shell is selling 10% stake in Woodside for $3.35 billion.

Shell announces that it intends to sell almost a third of its Woodside Petroleum interest for around $3.35 billion, nine years after it failed to take over the firm.
Nov. 8, 2010 - PRLog -- The Anglo-Dutch oil major has announced that it intends selling almost a third of its 34% stake in Woodside Petroleum but that it intends retaining 24.27% for at least another year.

Regal Group International sources report that UBS has agreed to act as underwriters for the sale of 29% of its share in the Australian energy firm, which is 78 million shares to be sold at A$42.23 apiece.

Even after the sale, Shell will still hold nearly a quarter of Woodside, which it has agreed to keep in lock-up for at least another year except in the case of a takeover bid for Woodside, or if Shell decides to sell a large chunk to a strategic buyer.

“With Shell’s recent portfolio progress in Australia, our world-wide push to simplify the company and to improve our capital efficiency, we will increasingly focus our investment in Australia through direct interests in assets and joint ventures, rather than indirect stakes,” Shell’s CEO Peter Voser told Regal Group International.

"This disposal program is seen as a way of upgrading the portfolio and repairing the balance sheet," Peter Hitchens, analyst at Panmure Gordon told clients in a recent note.

There has been increasing speculation that Shell may consider selling its remaining 24% to Chinese state-owned PetroChina with whom Shell made a joint $3.5 billion takeover of Australian Arrow Energy in March this year.

The Perth based Woodside is the largest independent energy firm in Australia.

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